by Pam Brandon, Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort
Loyal fans of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival have many different answers for the question, “What is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival?” For some, it’s all about noshing and sipping your way around World Showcase Lagoon and continuing on to the latest new global marketplaces in Future World. For others, it’s the dozens of seminars and cooking demos. Still more fans love the special dinners and parties.
Newcomers for 2016 (dates Sept. 14 – Nov. 14) should start at the Festival Center, where you can grab a guidemap and learn more about all there is to see and do. If it feels overwhelming, start with the complimentary “passport” you can pick up at the Festival Center or at the park entrance that lists the food and drink at each of the 30 global Marketplace kiosks before you being your stroll around World Showcase Lagoon. We recommend heading out early (say 11 a.m.) on a weekday (say Monday or Tuesday) if you want to stroll the promenade when it’s less busy.
And don’t try to eat at every Marketplace. Stroll, share, pick and choose for the best global culinary experience, where small plates and beverages are offered for purchase. And take time to enjoy the live entertainment along the way.
Music fans will enjoy ending the day at the free Eat to the Beat concerts at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m. (There’s an “Eat to the Beat Concert Series Dining Package” with breakfast, lunch or dinner at many popular Epcot restaurants and guaranteed seating for one of that night’s concerts.)
For the ultimate party, book one of the Party for the Senses grand tasting events held each Saturday in October as well as Friday, October 28, with more than 50 gourmet tasting stations. Or check out the super-fun Rockin’ Burger Block Party with a live DJ and celebrity chefs.
Visit the website, epcotfoodfestival.com, where you can also book ahead for many of the special events. Or call 407-939-3378. The 2016 festival spreads across Walt Disney World Resort with events such as “Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto” and “Brunch with a Twist” atDisney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
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